Federal Communications Commission
COMMISSIONER MIGNON L. CLYBURN
Facilitating the Deployment of Text-to-911 and Other Next Generation 911 Applications,
Docket No. 11-153; Framework for Next Generation 911 Deployment,
PS Docket No. 10-255
One of the most necessary, challenging, yet rewarding aspects of this job is the ability to
negotiate and deliver some incredible opportunities for the people we serve through policymaking. One
thing not on the table for debate, however, is ensuing that our public safety policies keep pace with the
evolving demand for mobile communications services so that all Americans may benefit from the
advantages new technologies have to offer. Just a short while ago, we were talking about how SMS
texting is becoming more popular than voice calls. Now, industry analysts debate whether over-the-top
texting, which allows users to send free messages to those using the same apps, will eclipse basic SMS
texting in popularity. Little known tech history fact: In mid-2013, the six most popular over the top text
applications, averaged nearly 19 billion messages per day.
For the millions of Americans who live with hearing and speech challenges, SMS and over-the-
top texting services are invaluable. They also help in situations when a voice call to 9-1-1 might be
dangerous (such as during a home invasion), or when voice calls are being blocked due to unusual
network congestion. For these reasons, it is important that we continue to promote greater deployment
and adoption of text to 9-1-1 services.
Today's item builds upon the voluntary commitments made by four nationwide wireless carriers
and I wish to thank them once again, along with APCO and NENA, for their efforts to promote timely
deployments of text to 9-1-1 services to PSAPs.
To ensure these public safety services are available to all wireless consumers we acknowledge
that there is still more work to do. So I am pleased this item seeks comment on a number of important
aspects that will be part of the long term evolution of text to 9-1-1 services. These elements include: (1)
providing more precise location information in conjunction with emergency texts, (2) delivering text-to-
911 over non-cellular data channels, (3) and supporting text-to-911 for consumers while roaming on
Admiral David Simpson and his staff in the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau are to
be commended, for their great work on this item.